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THE    CHRISTIAN   AND    HISTORICAL   STUDY

things which we generally describe as obiter dicta—
the comments that are made in aside, the places where
private views and the results of personal experience
leak out, the things, shrewd and intimate, that a teachej:
throws, in just for love. Once again we need not
complain—we may actually rejoice—that the finest
things in education must come from the creativity'of the
teacher himself and are extra-curricular by necessity.

The microscopic study of the transition to the
"mechanistic" idea of the universe in the seventeenth
century has shown to what a degree at the crucial,
moment men like Mersenne were moved by the arga-1
ment that divine miracle could never be justified unless
it could be shown that the world in its normal processes
was regular. The truth was that one of the chief things
that they had to fight was the current high-brow view
of the universe as quasimagical in character—a» place
where everything was so to speak a " miracle ", Para-
doxes like these are the parables of history and they
illustrate the manifold ways in which religion itself
helped to bring about modern sanity in respect of the
purely material world. Let us be quite dear that in
the field of history the Christian should be die first and
the most extreme in demanding the scientific attitude;
even though men may still differ so greatly in the
evaluations which they place upon the results of the
scientist's researches.

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